Beyond Words - Language Blog

The Importance of Language Testing

A concierge at a resort hotel who must communicate with guests in their language…

A nurse practitioner who must be able to tell a Spanish-speaking patient about their medical treatment options…

A legal assistant hired to provide foreign language document reviews at a law firm…

A translator at a multinational corporate event who must communicate the latest initiatives to the company’s local offices in other parts of the world…

In today’s multicultural world, it is essential that government agencies, healthcare providers, law firms, organizations and companies hire qualified bilingual employees to provide customer service, communications, translation, and interpretation services. However, it’s not always easy to asses if a candidate fully understands or is completely proficient in another language. Their resume might claim they can speak and write fluent Spanish, but the person might not be proficient enough. A candidate might not be as familiar with industry terminology in other languages as they claim. No matter the circumstances, you can’t afford mistakes when it comes to communicating information or translating important documents. Aside from the embarrassment this could cause, you could also find yourself in legal jeopardy. This is where ALTA Language Testing Services comes in.

Language Testing Services by ALTA

ALTA provides language testing services for government agencies, healthcare organizations and businesses all over the country. Language assessment is used to objectively measure the bilingual performance of customer service representatives, nurses and physicians, law enforcement officers, sales representatives, flight attendants, bankers, government linguists, legal document reviewers, and more.

ALTA’s tests are used to assess a variety of language skills, including speaking, writing, reading comprehension, and the ability to translate written or spoken language.

Types Language Testing and Their Purpose:

  • Speaking and Listening Assessment – Measures how well a job candidate can speak and understand a spoken target language.
  • Written Assessment – Measures a candidate’s ability to write in the target language.
  • Reading Assessment – Measures a candidate’s ability to read the target language.
  • Interpretation Assessment – Verifies whether a candidate can provide interpretation between two people in English and the target language.
  • Translation Assessment – Verifies whether the candidate can translate written English materials into the target language or materials written in the target language into English.

Industry-Specific Language Proficiency Tests

ALTA also offers language proficiency tests for specific industries or and job types. Every industry has terminology, jargon-terms and lingo that are completely unique. ALTA has developed tests that accurately and objectively assess needs that are specific to many industries, including: government at all levels from federal to local; healthcare providers; law firms; financial institutions; global recruitment; and travel/hospitality. ALTA has also the capability to develop custom tests on demand.

Language tests by industry:

  • Medical Language Tests
  • Legal Language Tests
  • Government Language Tests
  • Customer Service Language Tests


ALTA Has Created Tests for Over 100 languages

ALTA provides language testing services in 100+ languages using the knowledge of trained linguists and subject matter experts with over 30 years of experience in translation, language training and language testing.

5 reasons to use an independent language testing company like ALTA

    1. Independent language testing is unbiased, with no vested interest in the outcome.
    2. Independent language testing providers use objective processes, with pre-determined rating criteria to ensure a standardized evaluation of candidates.
    3. Independent language testing providers guarantee the validity and reliability of its tests to ensure they meet industry standards.
    4. Independent testing uses up-to-date methods and technologies.
    5. Independent language testing is legally defensible, giving clients a strong position to support and defend any decisions made based on the results of the test.

There is no question that our world has gotten smaller. With the ease of international travel, corporations with multinational workforces, and population shifts that see a growing number of people who speak other languages, it is essential that nearly every agency and industry employ bilingual individuals to provide communication and translation services. ALTA is the leader in language services, with decades of experience providing language proficiency testing to help you determine if a bilingual candidate is qualified for a job. Contact us today for more information.

Kristin Wallace is a USA Today Bestselling fiction author and advertising copywriter who is addicted to learning and writing about language, culture and art around the world. She lives and works in sunny Miami, Florida.


ALTA Language Testing Services:
ALTA Language Proficiency Tests for Speaking and Listening
ALTA Language Proficiency Tests for Writing
ALTA Language Proficiency Tests for Reading
ALTA Language Proficiency Tests for Interpreters
ALTA Language Proficiency Tests for Translators
ALTA Medical Language Assessment
ALTA Legal Language Assessment
ALTA Government Language Assessment – Local, State, Federal
ALTA Customer Service Language Assessment

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